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Return to Campus, COVID-19 Update: Faculty and Staff

Washington DC 

As the Washington DC campus begins to open this Fall, SAIS faculty and staff are now able to access offices during specific building hours. If you plan to come to campus, keep in mind that COVID-19 testing is still required once per week.

It is essential that you follow all Phase 2 guidelines and restrictions currently in place when on campus. While Phase 2 re-opening is underway, please continue to review the JHU Return to Campus Guidance that provides a wealth of information on recommended health and safety protocols that we will follow as we begin our gradual, multiphase resumption on-campus activity.

For comprehensive information on campus operations, health, and safety of employees, employees’ read the Johns Hopkins University Phases for Resuming On-Campus Activity.

For more in-depth information, please review the message below sent out on June 8, 2021.

Faculty and Staff Update

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff –

Welcome back to SAIS!

After a long period of distancing and uncertainty, it’s exciting to reconnect with all of you – in-person! We are thrilled to welcome the largest group of new and returning students in the school’s history, as well as a host of new and returning faculty and staff.
It has certainly been an extraordinarily challenging journey through the pandemic, and we thank you for your efforts, sacrifices, and collaboration through a very difficult time. Though we’ve made significant progress to be able to return to campus, we acknowledge that the pandemic is far from over, and is still causing enormous suffering around the world, directly and indirectly affecting the lives of so many in our community.
This is an exciting and challenging time to study international affairs: a global pandemic, pressures on democracy, changing information spaces, and shifting power dynamics all present a host of issues that we can engage together, in the learning environment.
New and returning students will benefit from the various enhancements that have been made across all of our academic programs to expand areas of study and elevate the student experience. These changes will provide greater flexibility in allowing students to choose an intellectual path; interact with a range of faculty and classmates; and access resources for events, travel, internships, and professional development.
As we implement these changes and commence what we hope will be an exciting academic year, we ask your cooperation as we work together with all of you to ensure a safe and rewarding year. The health, safety and well-being of everyone within the campus community remains the University’s highest priority and the leadership team here at SAIS, in collaboration with our counterparts at the Baltimore campus, will continue to closely monitor public health conditions to keep you informed of any changes in processes or policies. We also encourage you to view the SAIS return to campus resource page, which will continue to be updated with the latest information.
A few reminders:
First, masks must be worn indoors at all times, as mandated by the Washington, DC government, except when eating or drinking.
As you know, the University is requiring students, faculty and staff who will be on campus this year to show proof of an FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). Individuals who have documentation of a different vaccine, will be asked to get revaccinated.
SAIS will host a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for SAIS students, faculty, staff, and their family members ages 12 and older on Monday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kenney Auditorium in the Nitze Building. Pfizer first-dose and second-dose shots will be available, along with a limited number of Moderna vaccines for second-dose shots only. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be scheduled in advance via this link to ensure a spot.
Our operations, academic affairs, and student affairs teams have adjusted the campus and classroom environment to ensure appropriate social distancing between students and instructors, and have implemented a host of other measures to help ensure a safe and productive classroom experience. Classrooms are being monitored to provide lower density attendance. To comply with this, we ask that you not attend courses for which you are not officially registered. As you move throughout the SAIS buildings, you will notice additional sanitizing and cleaning protocols.
Please be reminded that all members of our community are required to use the Prodensity app to report their daily health status, and to gain building entry. The app also links to the Vaccine Management System (VMS), which documents and approves your vaccine status. Johns Hopkins students, faculty, and staff who feel ill or are concerned about exposure to the coronavirus may call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (a testing and referral resource) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
We look forward to a productive and enjoyable year! As always, we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions, questions or concerns.

Kent Calder
Interim Dean
Jessica Fanzo
Interim Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs
Peter Lewis
Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs
Gamze Zeytinci
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students –
Today the University issued a memo outlining important changes to the campus-wide vaccination and asymptomatic testing policies. Kindly see the details below. If you have questions regarding vaccinations or documentation uploads, please send them to Any questions regarding testing can be directed to
Thank you,
Office of the Dean

Changes to accepted COVID vaccinations - August 19, 2021

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
Keeping our community safe and healthy remains our foremost priority as we all continue to navigate the pandemic together. The overwhelming majority of you have taken the most important step in that effort by getting vaccinated against the virus. Ninety-five percent of faculty and 92 percent of staff have submitted documentation that they have been fully vaccinated; data on students will be forthcoming once they have returned to campus. 
On top of the protection afforded by our high vaccination rates, we are making two adjustments in our protocols at this time based on the latest research and case trends, which show a surge in the delta varient in recent weeks. We are limiting allowable vaccines to those that are FDA-approved and developing plans to increase COVID-19 testing. 
As a reminder, our plans for the fall include a universitywide mandate for COVID vaccinations, twice weekly COVID testing and masking for those who have approved vaccination exceptions, weekly COVID testing for vaccinated residential undergraduate students, limitations on the size of in-person classes and events, and heightened ventilation and air filtration. In the last several weeks, we have also instituted a universal indoor face-covering requirement.
Together, these measures offer strong protection against the spread of COVID within and by our community and allow us to return to campus as planned.
However, there are recent reports that certain vaccines may be less effective against the delta variant. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution and based on the recommendations of our Health Advisory Group, we are instituting the following changes in our campus operations.  
1. Only FDA-authorized COVID vaccines will be accepted. These three vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J/Janssen) have all shown effectiveness against known variants. Any individuals who have not received one of these vaccines must be revaccinated with a full course of one of these vaccines upon arrival, that is two doses, properly spaced, for Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, and one for J&J/Janssen. 
Previously, we allowed any vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization, but given growing data about the potential for lower effectiveness against delta, we are now mandating revaccination for those who have received non-FDA-approved vaccines. The university will assist students if they need help, and vaccination information is on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website. 
Individuals who have uploaded to the Vaccine Management System documentation of vaccination with Oxford/AstraZeneca, Covishield, Novavax, Sinopharm, or Sinovac will be contacted and asked to schedule an appointment to receive one of the FDA-authorized vaccines. You must complete your vaccinations and upload documentation to the Vaccination Management System (VMS) by Oct. 8. Your prior submission will be removed so that you can upload new documentation after your final dose. You may not upload documentation until that point. In the meantime, you will be allowed to come on campus, but you will be required to follow the same masking and testing requirements (twice weekly) as those with vaccination exceptions until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final dose).
2. Asymptomatic COVID testing will be expanded. Our current policy requires anyone on-campus who has an approved vaccination exception to be tested twice a week. Further, all vaccinated residential undergraduates are required to be tested once a week. To facilitate early detection of any COVID outbreaks within our community, we are developing plans to expand mandatory asymptomatic testing, and we expect to provide details in the coming days.
Asymptomatic COVID testing will remain available on a voluntary basis for all students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff. Details on testing locations are on the JHU coronavirus information website. Anyone who exhibits COVID symptoms is directed to call the Johns Hopkins COVID Call Center (JHCCC) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The JCCC will arrange for testing if needed and assist in transmitting information to Occupational Health or Student Affairs.
The School of Medicine continues to follow Johns Hopkins Medicine policies for vaccination. APL has its own policies for individuals on its property but for APL staff members who work, teach or attend classes at other JHU or JHM campuses, the mandates for each campus apply and can supersede APL guidelines.
As always, we are closely monitoring conditions, and both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine are evaluating additional precautions to further protect our community and our neighbors. We will keep you updated on any changes to our protocols. Thank you for maintaining proper COVID safety practices throughout the pandemic and assisting us with preparing for a productive, rewarding, and healthy fall semester.
Stay safe and be well,
Stephen Gange    
Professor and Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs    
Jon Links    
Professor, Vice Provost, and Chief Risk Officer    
Jane Schlegel  

Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will be hosting a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic for SAIS students, faculty, staff, and their family members ages 12 and older on Monday, August 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kenney Auditorium in the Nitze Building (1740 Massachusetts Ave NW). Pfizer first-dose and second-dose shots will be available, along with a limited number of Moderna vaccines for second-dose shots only. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments can be scheduled in advance via this link to ensure a spot.

See here for additional information.

Thank you,
Khorey Baker
Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
and Director of Student Life, Washington D.C.

Dear DC SAIS faculty and staff,
As we welcome everyone back to our DC campus and prepare for the start of fall semester, I am writing to provide updates on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and our Return to Work plan. I want to assure you that the health and safety of the SAIS community remains our top priority. We continue to monitor changes and frequently receive additional guidance from JHU. We are committed to providing you updates as they are made available. We remain on track to provide in-person instruction and student support as we welcome students back to SAIS for the fall semester.
Starting today, Monday, August 16, offices are expected to return to their fall operating posture. Managers and team leads have been provided guidance on approved return to work plans. If you or any of your staff have questions about expectations, work schedules, or office coverage, please speak with your supervisor.

The university and school have taken many steps to protect you while on campus. These community health and safety measures fall into four broad categories:

For up-to-date information, guidelines, and restrictions, visit the Coronavirus Information page. There are specific sections for Faculty as well as Staff, and a robust FAQ section.

Required Personal Public Health Practices for All University Affiliates 

  • Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations: All faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate and graduate students who will be working or studying at a Johns Hopkins campus or worksite in the U.S. are required to have a COVID vaccine unless they receive an approved medical or religious accommodation.
  • Mandatory indoor masking for all, regardless of vaccination status: Indoor face-coverings are universally mandated across campus except in the following situations:
    • In single-occupancy offices
    • When eating or drinking at a distance of at least six feet from any others. Momentary unmasking for drinking/eating is permitted.
  • Mandatory daily health checks: All JHU affiliates working on campus or in university-owned spaces are required to complete a daily health check using the Prodensity app. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you must contact the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center, at 443-287-8500, to determine next steps, including testing and returning to work.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene: Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after touching common building elements, such as door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, copiers, printers, etc. Avoid touching your face after contact with other individuals.
  • Mandatory influenza vaccination: This vaccination will be required later this fall and will provided free of charge by the university. Additional information about this is forthcoming.
  • Mandatory physical distancing
    • Eating meals in indoor shared spaces is restricted to areas where a six-foot distance can be maintained.
    • We have arranged the Cafeteria area on the first floor of Nitze as a designated distanced eating area.
    • Additional outdoor seating is being setup in the Nitze courtyard, and around Rome and BOB buildings, to provide more seating options.
    • No other physical distancing requirements are in place at this time.
  • Indoor university sponsored events
    • Food service is suspended except for prepackaged grab-and-go food to be taken away from the event. Grab-and-go food requires special approval. Sit-down meals, buffets, and platters at these events are suspended. 
    • Maximum capacity is set to 50 attendees for indoor events. Exceptions must go through an approval process.
  • Outdoor university sponsored events
    • Food is limited to pre-package food. Food can be consumed at events.
    • Single serve beverages are also allowed.
    • No capacity limitations and no physical distancing requirements.
    • Masking outdoors is not required. 
  • Approval of business meals is also suspended until further notice unless in an outdoor setting.

Improvements to Campus Infrastructure

  • Enhanced air exchange rates: All air exchange systems will be operational 24/7. Air exchange rates and outdoor air change in buildings are critical to reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Enhanced Filtration of Air: MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) 13 filters installed in campus buildings. These filters help to catch a higher level of air particles.

Enhanced Campus Cleaning Procedures

  • Custodial crews will routinely clean common areas, lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, instructional studios, and conference rooms.
  • Several times daily, custodians will provide additional cleaning of high-touch points (stairwell railings and room door handles, elevator buttons, etc.).
  • Individual affiliates will be expected to clean tables and other contact surfaces including wiping down personal workspaces. Wipes and cleaner are provided in common areas like classrooms, conference rooms, and break rooms.
  • Before starting activity in a space, and before leaving any room in which they have been working, individuals are encouraged to wipe down all areas with a cleaning agent and clean their hands before touching shared equipment. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, conference tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

Implemented COVID Testing, Tracing, and Contact Notification Procedures 

  • COVID Testing: Unvaccinated JHU affiliates are required to complete two (2) tests per week. Voluntary COVID testing is available to all JHU affiliates. Current locations and schedule can be found here.
    • Anyone who feels ill or is concerned about exposure to COVID-19 should call the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Call Center (JHCCC) at 443-287-8500, seven days a week, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    • Callers to JHCCC who are ill or are concerned they may be infected with COVID-19 will be asked a series of questions regarding their symptoms and possible exposure to others who have COVID-19.
    • Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a health care worker to receive guidance regarding self-isolation, monitoring of symptoms, and general health advice.
    • Positive test results will be reported (as required by law) to the necessary health authority, which will be responsible for the associated broad contact tracing.
  • In addition to notifying the necessary health authority, the JHCCC will conduct a short interview with the test-positive affiliates regarding their on-campus activity and contact with other JH affiliates as part of our own investigation, contact analysis, notification process (ICAN), to help determine if other JH affiliates may have been exposed by a JH affiliate or in a JHU-associated environment.

Contact tracingJH affiliates who may have had meaningful exposure to a COVID-19-positive affiliate will be notified, without being told the identity of the COVID-19-positive affiliate unless consent is provided. These additional affiliates will be advised to self-quarantine for a period determined by the date of the potential contact and exposure.

  • If affiliates are not contacted by the JHCCC, it means the JHCCC has determined that no meaningful contact with or exposure to a COVID-19-positive affiliate has taken place.

COVID-positive cases: notification procedures

  • Employees (faculty, staff): Supervisors of test-positive employees will not be notified of an employee’s COVID-positive status unless the employee gives consent to do so; the supervisor will simply be notified that the employee is off-duty at the time the test is ordered.
    • If the employee tests negative, the supervisor will be notified that the employee is cleared.
    • Test-positive employees must secure clearance for return to work from Occupational Health prior to returning to campus.

Students: Students who have a Covid test ordered and are asked to quarantine will be reported to Student Affairs as being ‘unable to come to campus/engage in their academic/research activities.’

  • If the student tests negative, the school will be notified that the student is cleared.
  • Students who test positive must secure clearance for return to class/campus from the Student Health & Wellness Center prior to returning to campus.
  • Advisors/Programs of test-positive students/fellows will not be notified of a COVID-positive status unless the student gives consent to do so; the advisor/program will simply be notified that the student is unable to come to campus at the time the test is ordered and until the student is cleared. Efforts will be made to support students with reasonable academic/research adjustments as needed.

As always, your health and safety is our top priority and protocols will be adjusted as necessary. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus soon!

Gamze Zeytinci
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
The following message, which was sent to the Johns Hopkins community today, also applies to the JHU DC campus. The mask mandate and related operational changes will take effect on Thursday, August 5th and will remain in place until further notice. Should you have any questions, please contact me at

Schuyler Asman
Director of Campus Operations

Greetings SAIS DC,
By now you may have seen the message from the University (posted below) regarding the indoor mask mandate for Washington DC. In accordance with Washington D.C. and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s guidelines all community members must wear masks while indoors beginning July 31, 2021.
A few reminders as you return to campus:

Thank you for your continued efforts to protect the health and well-being of our community. For more information please visit the Coronavirus Information website

Schuyler Asman
Director of Campus Operations

Dear SAIS Faculty and Staff:

As the summer begins, we are writing to provide an update on your ability to access campus buildings. Beginning this week, SAIS faculty and staff are now able to access offices during specific building hours without a formal authorization letter from Human Resources.

The Nitze, Rome, and BoB buildings will be open and accessible Monday to Friday from 7:00am to 11:00pm each day. Access outside of these standard building hours will continue to be restricted only to those with the necessary essential work authorization.

If you plan to come to campus, please keep in mind that Covid-19 testing is still required once per week. This requirement applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Even persons who are fully vaccinated must test each week. Frequent testing for those who come to campus remains a vital element in keeping our community safe.

The COVID Testing Site in the Nitze building (1740 Massachusetts Ave NW) is open from 1:00pm – 6:00pm Monday to Thursday. No testing is available on Fridays.  You can schedule an asymptomatic test through myChart. Self-test kits will be available when the testing site is closed.

For up-to-date testing center schedules and locations, you can visit the JHU Coronavirus information page here.

It is important that you follow all Phase 2 guidelines and restrictions that are currently in place when on campus. As a reminder, in addition to testing you are required to:

  • Use ProDensity to complete the attestation questions ahead of each trip to campus. Security staff will verify your Campus Pass upon entry to the building.
  • Wear a face mask when indoors, except when alone in an office that has a closeable door.
  • Respect 6ft physical distancing and posted room capacity signage. Meetings in faculty offices are not permitted at this time.

Campus Services will remain limited in Phase 2. We remind everyone to remain patient and respectful as we all adjust to our return to campus through these incremental steps. COVID restrictions and guidelines are ever evolving, based on public health conditions, and we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our community. We will provide additional information and updates throughout the summer regarding access to campus and fall operations.


Gamze Zeytinci
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Operations

Keep Teaching, Learning & Working

Learn more about the resources and measures that have been put in place to ensure continuity of teaching.